Thick, Dense, Restaurant Style Argo Cheesecake

This cheesecake is adapted from a vintage back-of-the Argo cornstarch recipe. It’s been updated over the years and there’s a new version on Argo’s web site, but this seems to be the recipe people love because I kept seeing requests for it on lost recipe forums.  It had been in my files forever and I’d been waiting for an excuse to try it.  Last night my dad came over for dinner, so I had one.

argo cheesecake

I started the cheesecake early in the day and it came together in minutes thanks to my trusty food processor.  Another bonus was that  I didn’t have to deal with making a crust.  As someone who actually likes a good graham cracker crust, my worries that we would miss it were put to rest by the grandness of the finished product. In this case the loose, thin layer of graham cracker crumbs was more than adequate.

The cake is not baked in a water bath and it’s not what I’d call creamy. This is one of those dense, silky, thick cheesecakes you’d find at a good steakhouse. The flavor is better than most because along with hint of lemon and vanilla, you get the tart from the sour cream and a little butter flavor to round it all out. As for the topping, I fully intended to make Argo’s strawberry recipe (below), but the strawberries at H.E.B. did not look so good yesterday and were double the price as usual. You can use any topping you want, but plan on having one because this cheesecake will probably crack.



Thick, Dense, Restaurant Style Cheesecake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An old recipe from the Argo cornstarch box
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 lb. cottage cheese (not low fat)
  • 2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 oz salted butter or 4 oz unsalted plus 3/8 tsp salt, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups regular sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Strawberry Topping
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup crushed strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups (approximately) nice looking whole strawberries
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch round springform pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over bottom.
  2. Combine egg and cottage cheese in blender or food processor and process until smooth. Gradually blend in cream cheese. Put mixture in a bowl and whisk in the sugar, melted butter, cornstarch, sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan and bake on center rack for 1 hour 15 minutes or until edge is firm. Turn off oven. Let cheesecake stand in oven one exactly hour to cool. Remove from pan and let sit at room temperature for a while. When it's cool, transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours. Cheesecakes are usually better on day 2, so you could make this ahead of time. Top with strawberry topping below or topping of your choice.
  3. Topping: Combine cornstarch, water, corn syrup and crushed strawberries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Strain. Stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Arrange whole (or you can slice them) fresh strawberries over top of cheesecake. Cover strawberries with the glaze.
  4. Serves 12-16

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  1. says

    You picked the right topping for our house anyway! For once, Kevin would love this! Too bad there isn’t one here for him to enjoy. ;(

  2. says

    I’m pretty open to most cheesecake toppings. My favorites are 1) Cherry, 2) Blackberry, 3) Raspberry, and then 4) strawberry. When I’m in a hurry I sometimes buy the pre-made gc crust for these types of things, and I usually have pretty good luck with those. We just finished off a pumpkin cheesecake at my house, but it looks like I might have to make another from this recipe here.

  3. says

    This cheesecake looks so good; I love the cherries and I love that it doesn’t have a crust! I’m saving this recipe for a special occasion!

  4. Suzy says

    I love how you bring out all the stops when your dad comes over. I always know it’s going to be a knockout dessert when pa is in the house!!

  5. Lauren says

    HEB? I go to HEB. Sometimes. Usually the commissary. Don’t usually hear the name on a blog.

  6. says

    Lucky Todd (above)!

    I don’t eat cheesecake often, but when I do I like a SERIOUS one. And this looks pretty hardcore. I mean that in a very positive way.

  7. Juli says

    If I wanted to make this a pumpkin cheesecake, could I use canned pumpkin in place of the cottage cheese and get the same texture?

  8. says

    Juli, I wouldn’t play around with this recipe. It might be better to just find a really good pumpkin cheesecake recipe. There are a bunch out there.

  9. Juli says

    Thanks, Anna. I really liked the dense texture of this cheesecake, but wanted a pumpkin and spice flavor. I’ll keep looking!

  10. Gloria says

    Looks delicious-I love fruit with cheesecake-any fruit topping will do for me. It satisfies some food groups: fruit, dairy, carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables (CORNstarch!)

  11. Martha says

    Anna, what a beautiful cheesecake! I’ve never heard of cornstarch in cheesecake – I wonder what purpose it serves? I never bake cheesecakes in a hot water bath – so what if they crack a little? My favorite flavor is my own concotion – Pina Colada.

  12. Amanda says

    Looks fantastic! I don’t think I’ve heard of this one. I have a TNT cheesecake that looks similar, will have to check this one out. Thanks 🙂

  13. Techie Momster says

    I made this yesterday for a friend’s birthday party, and made the topping with frozen blueberries instead of strawberries, and it turned out great! I got lots of compliments from the guests, and especially from the birthday girl. I will sample a piece today, after it has been cooling overnight, so it should be better today.

    Thanks for the great recipe.

  14. Eveline says

    I have made this recipe since 1970. It is close to the one I would buy from the German bakery. There is nothing wrong with eating this for breakfast I think more healthy than sugary cereal.

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